Johnny Lee Dixon, an ultra-aggressive safety from Glades Central High School, wants to become one of them.
"When I am not on the field, I am a nice guy," Dixon tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "On the field, I am going to do what I have to do to be successful. I am bringing the fire. I am going to hit you hard."
In a recent spring football game, Dixon was in a shock and awe mode with a half-dozen slobber-knocker big hits, announcing he is back in the mix at Glades Central after missing the 2005 season because he was academically ineligible.
Dixon and his coaches at Glades Central note that the 5-11, 177-pound defensive back has got his act together on the academic front and is pushing forward.
"I was down, but now I am up to a 1.9 and I am taking summer school classes now," Dixon says. "By the time my senior season is over with, I should be in good shape with a 2.5 or 2.6 (grade point average)." Dixon notes that he plans to take the SAT for the first time in July.
The fact that Dixon stands out on a Glades Central team loaded with major college prospects is impressive. He helped his team win Auburn's first 2006 seven-on-seven team passing camp last week. In that event, Dixon showed great man to man coverage skills and unusual physical strength making him extremely tough for receivers to get off their back.
Although he can play anywhere in the secondary, Dixon has a favorite assignment. "I play safety and I like being the guy that everybody depends on," he says. "When the ball is thrown deep or the ball is thrown across the middle, I like to take responsibility for making the play. I love playing safety.
"Cornerback, I will play it, but safety is my favorite," Dixon adds. "Wherever you put me at I am going to improve and give it my all."
Glades Central runs a variety of coverages so Dixon will at times line up like a free safety, at other times play like a strong safety and at times use his cornerback skills. He will also likely line up near the line of scrimmage and try to get physical with opposing quarterbacks and running backs in blitz situations.
"I do have a lot of responsibilities, but I enjoy playing," he says. "I just try to step up, be a man and handle my business. I plan to get some sacks."
The defensive back is shown in action at a summer camp.
Dixon says he felt so good about his decision to commit to Auburn this week, he made a return trip to the AU campus to talk with Tiger coaches about getting ready for his senior year in high school and eventual transition to college football.
"I can't wait to get to Auburn and show them what I am really about," he says. "I think I will really fit in. Auburn feels like home so I don't think it will be a big change.
"I am committed to academics and working on getting ready for football," he says. "The reason why I picked Auburn is that you have got to pick a place where you feel like you fit in where you are going to have love and support. I feel with Coach (Eddie) Gran at Auburn I will have that. He is a good man and I know he cares about me. That is why I picked Auburn."
Gran, Auburn's running backs coach, recruits south Florida for the Tigers and had a major role in convincing Dixon to make an early commitment to the Tigers.
"They wanted to talk to me about my decision," Dixon says of the Tiger coaching staff. "They told me that other coaches are going throw stuff at me and say bad things. I am a strong person and I am going to do what I say. I am going to Auburn and I know Coach Gran has got my back.
"I considered Georgia, I considered LSU and I considered Miami, but once I got to Auburn and got to see how they function my mind went straight to deciding that is where I want to go to college," the defensive back says. "I have got to be a Tiger."